Jaws dropped and eyebrows raised last month when the story hit the press that Israeli parents Lior and Vardit Adler named their baby after the “Like” button on Facebook. Some folks chuckled while others sneered and questioned the parents’ reasoning and motives.
The Adlers have two other daughters, Dvash (from the Hebrew word for honey) and Pie (as in “apple pie”). Baby Like joins them as the youngest and most famous of the Adler daughters.
Little Like already has a Facebook community page where her parents post updates about her personal life and public life. It’s filled with thousands of comments from people around the globe, many of whom overdo it in terms of expressing how much they “Like” or like Like.
At the time I write this, 5,228 people “Like” Like’s community page.
To explain the choice of name, Vardit Adler, mother, told Reuters, "It's very important to me and to my husband that the names we give our children are unique, creative and totally new."
Lior Adler, father, explained to Ha’aretz, an Israeli newspaper, that the name is homage to the iconic stature of Facebook. He went on to liken Facebook’s fame to the fame of the Bible, so that a name like Like seemed as likely as a biblical name.
Whether or not her parents anticipated the media attention or worldwide frenzy, Like holds a place in history as the first baby in the world named after the “Like” button on Facebook, but she definitely isn’t the first baby in the world to receive an unconventional name.
Daring names have become more and more common over the past few decades, particularly in the celebrity circle. Actress Gwyneth Paltrow named her daughter Apple. She joins a list of other oddly-named celeb children, including John Cougar Mellencamp’s son Spec Wildhorse and Sylvester Stallone’s daughters Sage Moonblood and Seargeoh.
Rumer, Scout and Tallulah are the unusual names of the progeny of Bruce Willis and Demi Moore, and let’s not forget about Frank Zappa’s kids: Dweezil, Ahmet Emuukha Rodan, Moon Unit and Diva Muffin.
I’m no celebrity, but in 2008 I almost gave in to the trend. I considered naming my daughter Fig.
Thankfully, my husband was able to talk some sense into me. He explained that, as our last name is Martin, our child would be named Fig Martin, which sounds awfully close to a classic cookie treat… the Fig Newton.
Perhaps I was craving the cookie, and that’s why I considered the name in the first place.
As soon as my husband pointed that out, we both thought of numerous other ways the name Fig could be manipulated into a taunt. Should our child inherit Mama’s big bones, she might be called “Fig the pig.” Should she be thin like those on Daddy’s side of the family, she’d likely be coined “Fig the twig.”
To avoid some of the inevitable schoolyard bullying, we decided to go with something more straight-forward and traditional. We named our first daughter Maggie, in memory of my late grandmother Margaret.
For her middle name, we selected Mae since, for some reason, Maggie Mae rolled off the tongue so easily.
It wasn’t until after Maggie Mae was born, long after we’d settled on the name and officially put it on the books, that someone asked us if we were Rod Stewart fans.
See, my husband and I actually aren’t Rod Stewart fans—which is why we never realized that we’d inadvertently given our child a name that was a variation of his song title “Maggie May.”
No wonder the name sounded so good! Now we just have to keep our fingers crossed that Maggie’s school chums aren’t into classic rock.
I have to laugh at our oversight rather than be embarrassed.